A rifle from 1880 fond in Afghanistan by Australian Troops and Challenges faced

Picture courtesy: bigstockphoto.com Martini-Henry breech-loading rifle.

By: Nalin Jayetileke 

Australia volunteered itself without hesitation to America’s longest war. Before long they found themselves beneath a conflict that was fought with the mist sophisticated militay equipment yet saw far from achieving victory, a mission the allied forces were always finding it deficit to fathom which direction it was going but stuck to its guns in support of the most powerful, the USA.

It was in the early 2011 that a legendry weapon of the Brattish Empire , a Weapon that is referred to as ‘ Martin Hrnry Brerech – Loading Rifle ‘ was fond by an Australian Lieutenant Colonel Darren Huxley which had an engraved manufacture date as fas as 1880. ( according to ABC Australia). This rusted rifle found by Australian soldiers in a Taliban cache north of Tarin Kot could have told them that.

It was a legendary weapon of the British Empire,  and as correctly said by ABC’s political Editor Andrew Probyn that placed it from the end of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, when the British Raj fought the Emirate of Afghanistan to assure a buffer between the Russian empire and British interests in India and Persia.

This could have well been a weapon ether stolen from a British or an Asian soldier, which may have soon action in Afghan tribal conflicts. It was probably used against the British in their invasion of Afghanistan, which happened just after the World War I and then against Soviet Union troops in 1929-30 and again in 1979, and well may have been used against anyone and everyone, including the worlds most advanced military nation, the United States, and their allies.

According to reports by the abc the weapon had been found in late April 2011, about a week before Osama bin Laden was killed, or “brought to the gates of hell”, as then-US vice-president Joe Biden put it.

Ten years later, now-President Mr Biden is going through his darkest days in the White House. There are calls for his impeachment.

The discovery of this 18th century weapon is a reflection of the depth with regards to the mindset of the so called Taliban and the wearied circumstances they have had to face, stemming out of  ovr100 of years fighting in may founts and the mindset in teems of the willingness to fight , which they did and the outcome,  be the fault on anyone or not is  self explanatory.

As Aljazeera has Highlighted soon after an analysis carried out, Afghanistan is faced with a ew challenges now that the Taliban has taken over control with which they will have to deal with balancing and convincing he international community as no state or any organization can operate insolation when it comes to governance of a country be it taken by force or through he socialist or Democratic systems.

1. Acceptance

As per Aljazeera analysis, The government of President Ashraf Ghani failed to meet the aspirations of the people, as their standard of living barely improved with poor basic services such as health and education. S such a building acceptance

The government was mired in corruption, while the security situation remained precarious, forcing thousands of Afghans to leave the country. Many notorious militia leaders and their henchmen were rehabilitated despite their atrocious human rights records and corruption.

2. Stretched forces

In a span of weeks, the armed group captured most of the provincial capitals, including the capital Kabul.

Afghan security forces either surrendered (after mediation from local tribal elders) or withdrew, giving the Taliban fighters a walkover in some northern and western provinces.

The former government’s decision to withdraw government troops from remote areas backfired, as it allowed the Taliban to build momentum and strike fear among the remaining troops. Now with almost all of Afghanistan under their control and fewer than 100,000 active combatants, the Taliban will be stretched thin, analysts say. it an understood fact the takin control is easy but the issue starts when it comes to consolidation and holding, a challenge the Taliban will face.


The Taliban has announced a general amnesty for government officials as it looks to retain as many people in their current roles as possible. Unless it boosts the number of law enforcement personnel, the country is at risk of political unrest and lawlessness, a huge challenge.

3. Governance

The Taliban has been good at one thing – fighting. How will they govern this diverse country with almost negligible modern infrastructure?, a strong mechansm will have to set in. With the fightjng minset that has een their with them for over decadees it will be a huge chalamnge for them to Re Desing their strategy and plans as the fall came faster than theybthoyght and suer ma not have planned how to deal with it thereafter. A challange they will face in the futuer, technocratic understanding of how to perform the other functions of government.

The group will likely struggle to provide effective governance to the people of the country as the government does not have much revenue to spend on public services – this is the essence of its problems today as seen by the Aljazeera analysis and as I see it.

4. Controlling its forces

The war against a foreign occupation united the Taliban’s rank. Now, when these fighters become governors and mayors and have access to incoming revenues and authority – will they go down the same route previous governments followed, and end up accused of corruption and abuse of power?

This will be another challenge,  interesting dynamic to watch.

5. The past

Looking at what happened during the past with Taliban’s last stint in power between 1996 and 2001, it was quite evident the way they handled it being abusive against ethnic minorities and curbs on women’s rights, while the country was isolated internationally.

Since retaking power on August 15, the Taliban’s talking points include respecting women’s role in the public sphere, human rights and the rights of minorities. But the world, and more importantly Afghans, are waiting to see if those words turn into action. in my view the have no option but to toe the line with the international community now that they have stepped into the shoes of governance, be it taken by terror activity by force or not, the application of a state of governance will come into play and they will have no option but to uphold that. .. another challenge as Highlighted by Aljazeera and as agreed as also seen by  the writer.


6. Economy and reliance on foreign aid

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and more than 20 percent of its gross income comes from foreign aid.

Many other Western donors might follow suit, making it extremely difficult for the new government to run the economy in a country where 75 percent of public spending comes from grants.

Significant mineral wealth remains underground as instability has prevented major exploration and international investment.

Although the Taliban have been talking to Russia and China about possible economic cooperation projects, it remains to be seen how that will materialise.

It would also need humanitarian agencies to provide urgent aid to Afghans displaced by the war. More than 5 million Afghans are estimated to be internally displaced. The UN says nearly 400,000 people have been displaced this year alone as a result of ongoing violence.

But with aid agencies, including the UN, pulling their staff out of the country, things will be difficult for people dependent on foreign aid.

In order to unlock international funding, the international community’s recognition of a Taliban government will be key, as the group is still blacklisted by the UN.

So in a nutshell it acceptance that will have the impact on the finances and funding from other countries, the UN and other aid agencies to support the new sta eof Afghanistan, which is a huge challenge for people who have taken over power and we shall see what unfloods out of this in he vey near future.



Information courtesy: AL JAZEERA, this article is a re production based on facts identified courtesy: Aljazeera and abd.net.au.